Our lead trainer, Andy Kent, embarked last week on a grueling trip into the heart of East African coffee production. Ethiopia, specifically. Andy is working on a project aimed at increasing levels of traceability for coffee that leaves Ethiopia. We want to be able to bring you coffee that has transparency at all levels in ensuring a fair portion of the price we pay for the green coffee gets back to the actual farmer. Supporting Andy is a great way for us to do this and for Andy to gain valuable knowledge about many different Ethiopian coffees directly at the source. What follows is Andy’s first dispatch from Ethiopia. Stay tuned for further entries…
It has been a slow start getting to Ethiopia. It usually takes a few days, but with a snow storm in Europe causing flights to be delayed, a few days turns into many. Luckily the flights themselves were smooth and now I am here, Addis Ababa.
|Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
I’ve now been in Addis for a few days. I am here with a good friend, to help him and his team work on a traceability project to help better source coffee and track coffee from the co-op in Ethiopia to you. More importantly, I am in Ethiopia to learn, listen and taste, and if by chance my taste buds run into something amazing… well, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed.
|Umbrellas serve a different purpose in Ethiopia…|
For last few days the team and I have been running all over Addis collecting supplies, dealing with bureaucracy, eating amazing foods (some more desirable and agreeable then others) and being stuck in
meetings… lots of meetings! Luckily the last meeting was the most interesting so far. We had a chance to meet with Tsegaye the President of Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union and Berhanu who is SCFCU’s certifications general manager. In the meeting we were able to receive Tsegaye’s permission and help to visit a few of the largest co-ops Fero and Homecho Waeno in Sidama.
|L to R: Tsegaye and Berhanu|
So tomorrow is the day, we will be heading off to the farms to start implementing the traceability program. For me the thought of driving down through the Rift Valley to my first ever experience at a coffee farm excites me beyond belief.
More to come…